Warren Anderson, who was CEO of Union Carbide during one of the worst industrial disasters in history, has died at the age of 92. On December 3, 1984, about 40 metric tons of toxic gases leaked from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India. While the official death toll is nearly 4,000, campaigners say it is closer to 25,000, with many still suffering. Anderson never faced trial for the disaster although India tried multiple times to extradite him. In 2012, activists rallied in New York to call for Anderson to face charges in India. Twelve-year-old Akash Viswanath Mehta of the group Kids for a Better Future addressed Anderson directly.
Akash Viswanath Mehta: “I would like today to appeal to Warren Anderson’s conscience, his guilt and his grief, and ask him to stand beside me. If he is truly haunted by the disaster that happened on his watch, which destroyed an entire community, I ask him to come forward and make a moral statement about what the right thing is for Dow and Union Carbide to do.”
Anderson died in September at a nursing home in Vero Beach, Florida. His family did not announce his death, and it nearly went undetected until The New York Times saw an obituary in the weekly newspaper in Vero Beach. The headline read: “Warren Anderson dies here in obscurity.”